February 12, 2014 9:51:51 AM
The trouble with slow cookers is that while they certainly deliver on ease, they sometimes disappoint on flavor. It's the risk you run when you dump a bunch of ingredients in a pot and walk away for much of the day.
So we decided to come up with a slow cooker chicken that packs plenty of sophisticated flavors, yet doesn't sacrifice the no-nonsense approach we love about slow cooking. We started with chicken thighs, which have richer, deeper flavor than chicken breasts. Then we added lemons, fennel, mushrooms and leek for a braise inspired by the cuisine of southern France.
We also wanted to resolve the other drawback of slow cookers -- that the foods cooked in them often lack texture. So we finish the dish with seasoned, toasted breadcrumbs for a delicious crunch.
SLOW COOKER MEYER LEMON CHICKEN
Start to finish: 20 minutes active
(plus 4-5 hours on high heat, or 7-8 hours on low heat)
Makes 6 servings
2 large leeks, white parts only, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large yellow onion, chopped
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, halved
2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed and quartered
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh rosemary
2 Meyer lemons, quartered
Salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
Egg noodles, cooked, to serve
Nutrition information per serving (not counting noodles): 310 calories; 110 calories from fat (35 percent of total calories); 13 g fat (5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 85 mg cholesterol; 21 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 24 g protein; 310 mg sodium.